All the participants for the World Heritage Rifle Series – Africa are now fully engaged in producing this fabulous work of art. Each artisan selected is a master at his craft and is at the pinnacle of his career. Most readers of Safari Magazine recognize these extraordinary craftsmen as they are all supporters of SCI and most exhibit at the convention each year. Each has made a generous commitment of their time and resources to produce this fantastic ensemble.
John Bolliger, Jr. Mountain Riflery, Inc. has been working for over a month meticulously fitting wood to metal. The intricate metal work on the Africa rifle demands slow, deliberate, hand fitting and John, Jr. has done a masterful job producing a rifle where the metal does seem to “grow” out of the wood (an old cliche but best describes the impression one gets when viewing John Jr’s wonderful work).
The finish on the highly figured Moroccan walnut consists of approximately twenty coats of hand rubbed oil. A painstaking process but produces the low lustre finish that is found on the best of the best custom rifles. Oil seems to bring out the magnificent grain and color of Juglans Regia – no need for applying any stain or additional color to enhance the grain of the beautiful wood.
John, Sr., Mountain Riflery, Inc, is now checkering this beautiful stock with a very intricate pattern specifically designed for this piece. John anticipates this pattern will take a month or so to
complete. Cut at 75 degrees (instead of 90 degrees) the lines forming the diamonds are sharper and “tackier,” providing a superior gripping surface for his rifles. He says, it can be “pretty slow going” at times but John’s rifles are known worldwide for having extraordinary, difficult to execute, highly ornate checkering patterns and his rifles are instantly recognized by these beautiful patterns. Talk about “slow going” – John estimates that over 5,000 man hours will be lavished on the African rifle, knife, case, credenza and accessories.
While the rifle is being checkered, the hand-polished metal is currently being engraved by Master Engraver Mike Dubber. Mike will spend the next three months engraving the Africa rifle. Mike
plans to inlay several ounces of gold with platinum highlights in the “Africa” rifle. He will deeply engrave the beautiful scroll he is renowned for and then he will painstakingly remove and stipple the background. No doubt, Mike will engrave the “Africa” rifle to the highest possible standard that he is well known for as a Master Engraver.
While the rifle is under construction, Tom Julian, Julian & Sons fine woodworking, has
started the credenza, made to magnificently display the rifle and case. Tom has personally hand selected outstanding, highly figured walnut to build the credenza, which will feature African Bubinga inlay and a black leather insert in the top. Tom and his staff will have this masterpiece completed in three to four months.
Dennis Friedley’s knives are well known to SCI members and are considered to be some of the most outstanding custom knives available today. The “Africa” knife will be a hunting design handled with Cape buffalo horn scales and, of course, fully gold inlaid and
engraved by Dubber. What a fabulous piece to be French fitted inside the Cape buffalo leather trunk case by Marvin Huey.
Any questions about this project can be directed to John Bolliger’s Web Site.